F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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HateEDwithApassion
Hi,

While on vacation, we discovered my D had been drinking, by herself, in our cabin because she was depressed. A friend broke off with her, and she said she always gets more depressed there even though she loves going. Self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess. 

We have alcoholism on both sides of our family (as many with ED do I've heard), so this is an extra huge worry for us. She 'fessed up voluntarily. We didn't punish her for the drinking because we are trying to encourage the honesty, and if she didn't tell us, we would not have known. We explained this to her. But not punishing also seems wrong. Nothing seems right these days.

She starts with new DBT therapist this week in preparation for the 24-week group skills class. Setting expectations, building a relationship etc. She doesn't like him. I think he'll be fine, but it's true - she really likes her current therapist; he's great with teens and he challenges her and is real with her. We have to put him on hiatus while we do the DBT-adherent family skills program - that's how the program works.

Again, right thing? I think so, but who knows. Worst case is that we were wrong to take her temporarily from her therapist, but she still received most solid, evidence-based DBT skills training we could find in our state. Gosh - my head hurts.

Asking for prayer (or just positive wishes) that she'll give the DBT program and the new therapist a real chance. That's she'll do homework and have motivation to practice the skills and will see results.

If not, my H and I have done everything we can possibly do to help her with professionals over the past three and a half years. Other than loving her and praying for her, this is all we have left to do.

Vent over. Thanks all who read it. No reply needed. [smile]



19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
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mjkz
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We didn't punish her for the drinking because we are trying to encourage the honesty, and if she didn't tell us, we would not have known. We explained this to her. But not punishing also seems wrong. Nothing seems right these days.


Rather than thinking of punishing her, why not think of ways to help her stop and take away any opportunity to drink until she has had more time sober under her belt?  I would make sure there is no alcohol in the house, not let her go to friend's houses that have unlocked alcohol and not let her go out to places like bars where she can get alcohol?  Time for stricter rules around where she goes, who she goes with and how late she stays out.  If she sees that as punishment, so be it.  I would explain to her that with alcoholism on both sides of the family and the fact that she is drinking due to emotions, these are ways to help her avoid the temptation of alcohol.  You might also point out that alcohol is a depressant and is going to make her depression worse.  It is too easy to substitute not eating with another equally self destructive measure.

Check out Francie's thread on isolation to see what kind of structure she and hubby put around daughter to help her stop drinking.  This would also be a great thing to address in DBT.

I am glad she told you and by telling you, she is asking for help.
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear HateEDwithApassion,

You might try the Alanon website to get some ideas on how to help someone with a drinking problem. It greatly helped my mum & I deal with my dad.

Helps you deal with them at the same time as not accepting their behaviour & the drinking.


ED Dad
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HateEDwithApassion
Oh, thank you guys for your suggestions.  

MJKZ, you are so right about boundaries and limiting access to alcohol. We have what's left locked up, and she is already very limited in where she goes - sleepovers are out, she's lost most of her friends so she doesn't go really anywhere now, and we actually breathalyze at home and drug test randomly. And still - she makes this choice. It's scary.

AussieED - Thank you. I'm going to go to that site. I think I need to go to meetings, too. I'm a kid of an alcoholic, too. Double whammy. Thank you so much for the encouragement!
19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear HateEDwithApassion,

I started with Alateen then moved to Alanon. My mum was one of the local leaders of Alanon.

It helped a whole lot
ED Dad
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mjkz
Wow! You really have a lot covered.  It is scary that with all that you have in place, she still chooses to drink.  Just more reason for that DBT group!!!
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enoughalready1
I'll send a prayer your way for strength and wisdom.  I haven't posted for a long time.  My daughter starting drinking for a while a couple of years ago.  During that time (she is 22), something happened at a bar that scared the liver out of her.  She said she hasn't been drinking since.  I do not believe much of what she says, but this seems to be true at least at present.  It seems so hard for these kids to learn from their mistakes and move on. 
Mother of 21-year-old
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HateEDwithApassion
I'll take any prayers I can get! Thank you!

It's been a bad night. I hate reading her texts because I always learn things that I wish I didn't know (lying, inner thoughts, bad choices, self-hatred) but if I don't read them, I miss catching things she's doing and putting obstacles in the way of her doing them. Tonight, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I feel like she's running down a path of destruction, and I'm dragging behind her, grabbing her heels, throwing items in her path and slowing her down - for now, but not stopping her. 

The worry and fear and heartache of not being able to turn her around myself so she's walking on a brightly lit sidewalk instead of down a dingy alley is really hard. 

One praise is that she came home and said she didn't mind the new DBT therapist - she went into it saying she didn't like him and wanted to remain with her individual therapist instead, which isn't an option. i prayed her heart would open up to this new person and that she would begin to engage with therapy. I don't think that's happened, but the fact that the session went better than I expected is a big answer to prayer. meeting #2 tomorrow and the connected family skills group begins in late August when they start the next module. I need hope it will help...



19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
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Torie
So sorry for the long, tough road. Ugh.

Such good news, though, that she apparently doesn't hate the DBT therapist. Others have found that the skills really helped their ed-kids even when said kids claimed they weren't learning anything helpful. (Eventually.) So I think that's good reason for optimism.

Hang in there! Your d is lucky to have you. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mjkz

Awesome to her liking the new DBT therapist.  Change is hard for anyone and especially our kids.  Does your daughter go to meetings?  That might be a great place for her to make friends that are in recovery and can help her develop her social skills in a safe environment.  If she gets sponsor, that would give her someone else too to call when those decisions are looming that our kids seem to just make the wrong choices.  I think sponsors are good too because they usually aren't shy about pointing out what mistake was made and challenging the thinking behind it. They also tend to be closer in age and have plenty of recovery time under their belt.  It is great for a parent or therapist to point out where the thinking went wrong but at that age-a peer pointing it out seems to have the most impact.

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